A patent was filed in the early 1900s by Merck Company for MDMA. One source reports the patent was filed in 1912 while the other reports the patent was filed in 1913 with a patent number of 274. 350. When it was patented, there was no intended use mentioned in any of my sources. It is reported that MDMA was not ingested until the 1970s. Dr. Alexander Shulgin rediscovered MDMA in the 1970s. No exact year or date was listed. When Dr. Shulgin first discovered the product, it was promoted as a therapeutic product. It was meant to give insight into problems and reduce psychological defenses.
During the 1970s, many Americans and doctors called MDMA, “penicillin for the soul”. At this time, it had not been tested or approved for human use. The next reported use was in the 1980s, MDMA started being called “empathy” and “ecstasy”. There was a spike in use during the 1980s as well. Most of the use was seen in the gay and urban communities. On July 1, 1985, there was a law enacted that banned MDMA use. In the 1990s, MDMA was used in nightclub and electronic music scenes mostly. During 1996, there was a study completed called “Monitoring the Future Study”.
In this study, 5% of 10th and 12th graders reported using the drug. In the same study, 2% of 8th graders also reported using MDMA. The Food and Drug Administration approved the first clinical trial in the late 2000s. I could not find any data on this trial. The number of doses produced in an illicit lab drastically increased between the mid-1970s and the mid-1980s. In 1976, the number of doses produced was 10,000. In 1984, that number tripled to 30,000. The number made a drastic jump in 1985 to 500,000. These numbers all reflect the number of doses produced in a month.
The chemical name for MDMA is 3, 4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine. There are many compounds that can be found in MDMA. It is similar to methamphetamine and mescaline. The composition of the drug “ecstasy” could contain 3, 4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA), methylenedioxyethylamphetamine (MDEA), methylenedioxyamphetamine (MDA), para-methoxyamphetamine (PMA), methylbenzodioxolylbutamine (MBDB) or ephedrine. It may include one or a variety of any of the proceeding compounds. There are two different drug abuse patterns when it comes to compulsive sers. The first pattern is escalating use. This is the pattern that is most seen by medical professionals when it comes to compulsive users. This will only happen until the side effects and hangovers are so severe. The user will swear off the drug after crashing. Some users will even seek help from medical professionals and be prescribed medications. The second drug abuse pattern us where the user “makes peace” with the drug. They accept the suppressed serotonin by using large doses of MDMA. It ends up becoming more like methamphetamine than ecstasy.
The fate of the users is not well known in this pattern as it is rarely and abuse pattern. Although, most users end up crashing and seeking help. The escalating use pattern users can almost always expect a full recovery. However, it can take months for the brain to become normal again. In 1988, the Food and Drug Administration placed MDMA on Schedule I of the Controlled Substance Act. A Schedule I drug means there is not accepted medical use or benefit. The consequences for MDMA varies based on the country you live in.
If an individual is convicted of manufacturing or distributing more than 50 grams of MDMA, they could be sentenced to 10 years to life in prison and possibly face a fine of up to $4 million. If death or serious injury results from the manufacturing or distribution, the penalties double. The offender could face 20 years to life in prison and possibly face a fine of up to $8 million. For possession of 5 grams or more, the offender could face 5-40 years in prison. If death or injury results from using MDMA, the penalty could be 20 years to life in prison and possibly a fine of up to $2 million.
This all reflects the consequences in the United States. The consequences in the UK and Canada are much lower than the United States. MDMA is usually taken orally in pill form. When a person takes more than one at a time, it is called “bumping”. It is an indirect serotonergic agonist. This means that it increases the amount of serotonin released into the synapse. It acts on the serotonin transporter where it is then transported to the nerve terminal. While the drug is in the terminal, it interferes with the storage of serotonin in the vesicles.
This increases the amount of serotonin that can be released. It can also enhance the release of dopamine and noradrenaline. Once ecstasy is administered into the body, it is readily absorbed from the GI tract. The onset of the drug is within 30 minutes. One source reports the peak concentration is after 1-3 hours. Another source indicates the peak concentration is within 2 hours after administration. There are 3 dosages that are healthy to humans. These are 50mg, 75mg, and 125mg. The amount of dosage depends on the level of the drug at peak concentration.
These are 106 hg/mL, 131 hg/mL and 236 hg/mL, respectively. The elimination half-life also varies based on the sources I found. The first source states the half-life is approximately 7 hours. The other source reports the half-life to be 8 hours. It also states that it takes 5 half-lives for the drug to be 95% cleared. If the urine is alkaline urine, it can increase the half-life of ecstasy to 16-31 hours. Once the drug is absorbed from the GI tract, it is then metabolized in the liver. It metabolizes to the active metabolite, methydioxyamphetamine.
The half-life of the active metabolite is 16-38 hours. The main enzyme responsible for the metabolism of the drug is cytochrome P450 2D6. The effects that ecstasy has on someone physically and physiologically vary depending on the amount of the drug, what is contained in the drug and the person taking it. There are also different effects based on how long the drug has been in the body. There are also both desirable and undesirable effects of ecstasy. Physiological effects that occur within one hour of taking ecstasy can be feelings of mental stimulation, empathy towards others and decreased anxiety.
Other physiological effects include a sense of euphoria, a general sense of well-being, sharpened sensory perception, greater sociability, extraversion, heightened sense of closeness to others and a heightened tolerance of other people view’s and feelings. The undesirable effects start after a week or longer. These effects include anxiety, irritability, sadness, impulsiveness, significant reductions in mental abilities and affecting memory. Physical effects that occur within one hour of taking ecstasy can be emotional warmth. Other physical effects include an increase in wakefulness, ndurance and a sense of energy, sexual arousal and lowers fatigue and sleepiness.
The undesirable physical effects that start at one week can include restlessness, aggression, sleep disturbances, lack of appetite, thirst, and a reduced interest in and/or getting pleasure from sex. There are also potential adverse health effects that can result from long term use of ecstasy. These include nausea, chills, sweating, involuntary jaw clenching and teeth grinding, muscle cramping, blurred vision, hyperthermia, dehydration, high blood pressure, heart failure, kidney failure and arrhythmia.
The amount of MDMA that can be toxic or lethal depends on the person taking the drug. One source reports the toxic or lethal dose overlaps the range of the recreational dose. It also states that there is not enough evidence that would permit an accurate assessment of the size of the problems. When it comes to recreational use, the dosage range is between 50 mg and 150 mg. Another source reports that in most cases of toxicity, the amount of drug found in the bloodstream was 0. 5 mg/L to 10 mg/L. This is up to 40 times higher than recreational use.
The reason it is so hard for evidence to show a specific toxic or lethal level is that it can be as low as 0. 11 mg/L to 0. 55 mg/L. The main reasons ecstasy can prove fatal is that it can induce depression and cause suicide and also have risk taking behavior. As of October 2001, there were a total of 87 deaths resulting from ecstasy. The primary causes are listed as; hyperpyrexia, unknown, suicide/accident, cerebral, cardiovascular and hepatic. These are listed from highest number of deaths to lowest number of deaths. A person that is a good candidate for neurotoxicity is a person that is taking thirty pills a night.
Neurotoxicity is described as brain damage. MDMA is illegal in most countries of the world. Over the years, MDMA has been given many different nicknames and street names. These include X, E, XTC, Adam, Beans, Candy, Dancing Shoes, Disco Biscuits, Doves, E-bomb, Egg Rolls, Happy Pill, Hug Drug, Love Drug, Malcolm, Malcolm X, molly, Scooby Snacks, Smartees, Sweets, Skittles, Thizz, Vitamin E, Vitamin X and Vowels. There have also been slang terms for using and abusing MDMA over the years. These include Drop or Double Drop, Thizzing, Flip or Flipping, Roll or Rolling, Cuddle Puddle, E-puddle, E-tard, and Raver or Raving.
When trying to find MDMA in toxicological samples, there are different ways it can be found. The first is Immunoassay. These include KIMS, CEDIA®, and ELISA. It can also be found using Thin-Layer Chromatography (TLC), Gas Chromatography, Mass Spectrometry, and Liquid Chromatography. MDMA is still illegal in the United States so there are numerous forensic considerations. First, it can help when there is a suspicious death. MDMA is included in the standard post-mortem toxicological analysis. It also helps when identifying a substance that is given to a forensic scientist by a law enforcement officer.